Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Dez Bryant, Arian Foster, Eddie Lacy & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just hours before the start of Week 5 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:


Dez Bryant – Wide Receiver – Dallas Cowboys
After practicing on a limited basis this week Bryant is shaping up as a true game-time call for the Cowboys.  Of course they don’t play until 4:25 PM EST, which generally puts fantasy owners in a tougher spot.  There also is a lot of skepticism regarding his availability, as Ian Rapoport (via Twitter) reported this morning:

“WR Dez Bryant (knee) will warm up but is a long-shot to play, despite returning to practice. A post-bye return is a near-certainty”

The matchup with the Packers appears to be a favorable one (they are allowing the sixth most points per week to opposing wide receivers), though the 49 receptions they’ve allowed is actually the third fewest in the league.  Couple that with the potential that Bryant is limited/used more as a decoy, as well as his limited production over the first three weeks of the season (11 receptions on 23 targets), and Bryant is a player to sit this week. 


Mike Wallace – Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens
While he’s listed as questionable, he’s expected to play today against the Giants.  He’s coming off a week that he saw heavy opportunity, thanks to the absence of Steve Smith, and that could once again be the case this week.  Of course his usage wasn’t just a one-time phenomenon, as he has double-digit targets in back-to-back games (21).  The problem is he’s turned those into just 11 catches and 103 yards.  He’s also lacked big play potential the past four weeks (10.1 yards per catch) and hasn’t scored since Week 2.

The matchup seems favorable, with the Giants giving up the tenth most points per week to opposing wide receivers, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good bet.  Opportunity puts him on the WR3 spectrum, but don’t use it as a reason to consider him anything more than that.


Arian Foster – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
According to Barry Jackson (via Twitter):

“Gase said Reshad Jones and Arian Foster will be game time decisions.”

He’s been practicing on a limited basis this week, but even if he does play what are we looking at?  There are a few things that are going to work against him:

  1. Touches – You have to think that Miami will limit him, with Jay Ayaji and others also getting into the mix
  2. Matchup – The 351 rushing yards allowed by the Steelers (to opposing RB) place them with the 8th fewest

They have been prone to the pass, especially to RB (366 yards are second most), and we know that’s a role Foster could fill.  That’s going to make him a FLEX option if he dresses, but the risks of limited opportunities prevent him from being viewed as anything more.


Eddie Lacy – Running Back – Green Bay Packers
Listed as questionable, most expectations are that he’s going to suit up for today’s game.  With James Stark already ruled out, assuming Lacy plays he’s going to be a must use option as a RB2 with a heavy workload expected.  The Cowboys do represent a tough matchup (fourth fewest points per week to opposing RB), which does keep him from being thought of any higher.


Will Fuller – Wide Receiver – Houston Texans
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

“Texans’ WR Will Fuller is unlikely to play tonight vs Colts due to a hamstring injury, per source.”

The Colts and Texans play the Sunday night game, so waiting on Fuller (who was more of a WR3 anyways) doesn’t make much sense.  While there’s obvious upside, fantasy owners would be wise to utilize their alternatives earlier in the day.


Justin Forsett – Running Back – Detroit Lions
Theo Riddick & Dwayne Washington (according to Adam Schefter via Twitter) have already been ruled out.  Obviously the Lions could easily try to go pass heavy, though Los Angeles features a solid pass defense and that could lead to multiple dump offs to the running back.  Forsett has racked up as many as 44 catches in a season and he also is better than the 3.2 YPC he posted in three games with the Ravens earlier this season.  While he’s not a long-term solution, view him as a potential low-end RB2/FLEX option, especially in PPR formats.


Randall Cobb – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
With both Eddie Lacy and James Starks (already ruled out) banged up, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (click here for the article) speculates:

“He might have to be on high alert this week given the Packers’ uncertain situation at running back. Eddie Lacy and James Starks are banged up heading into Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.”

Obviously a lot of his runs have likely come off reverses or other “gimmick” plays, but Cobb has carried the ball 45 times for 314 yards over the course of his career.  The thought of him getting a few carries in the game certainly adds to his appeal, though continue to view him more as a high-end WR3 as opposed to a must use option.  This just gives him the edge over similarly valued players.


DeAndre Washington – Running Back – Oakland Raiders
Latavius Murray has already been ruled out and with the game expected to be played in less than stellar conditions (rain is potentially in the forecast) there would appear to be opportunities for the running game.  The problem, though, is who is going to carry the load?  Washington will likely continue sharing carries with Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale, making all of them more FLEX options than players to trust.


Sources –, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings:

Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 7: Cameron Meredith, Jordan Howard, Ty Montgomery & More
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2016): Week 6: Jamaal Charles, Willie Snead, Jeremy Hill & More


  1. Mark says:

    What 2 players would u go with? Cameron Meredith,kerley,devante Parker or rashad Jennings

    • I’d go Parker/Jennings. They are the safest and also have bigger upsides (though it’s close between the 4). Given the Giants struggles, wouldn’t surprise me to see a steady dose of Jennings today

  2. dodge10 says:

    pick in order to start-wentz, prescott & tyrod taylor

  3. petey says:

    Morning Professor,
    Need some RB help in 12 team PPR league. Have Ajayi and Whittaker, Not too many options off wire for me. Thinking picking up Forsett off wire but not sure if he is any better, Ware and Asiata also available. Very slim pickings due to lots of injuries!! Help!

  4. dnz says:

    Need to start one more in my flex spot:
    Cameron Meredith, Phillip Dorsett, Jay Ajayi, Ted Ginn Jr or Chris Hogan. I’m undecided between Meredith and Hogan. Who would you start?

  5. Patriots says:

    Morning Professor, 12 team standard, who to start given the line troubles (left gaurd bitonio) gone on ir)for Browns I’m debating between Crowell or Tevin coleman, thank you

  6. dnz says:

    Oh and also: I have Robert Woods starting at WR, is any of the possible flex plays better than him? Should I go Meredith at WR and Hogan at flex?


  7. Toby says:

    Hi Prof,

    2 positions,
    QB: Hoyer or Bortles
    Flex: Marvin Jones, Jalen Richard, Hilton or Royal?

    Thanks in advance

  8. Billy says:

    Hey there Prof,
    Need a little help picking my flex with Fuller likely out. Who do you think has the bigger upside, T. Coleman against the Seahawks or T. Prior against Titans?

  9. BWAY says:

    C Meredith CHI or D Parker Mia?

    Blount, Shepard, or Coates? Need 1

  10. Patriots – I’d still go Crowell

    dnz – I’d use both Meredith & Hogan over Woods (though none are particularly great options)

    Toby – Bortles // Hilton (but it’s a coin flip)

    Billy – Coleman def. has the higher upside

    BWAY – Parker // Blount

  11. Gern says:

    Hey Prof,
    Looks alike a busy morning!

    Bernard or Foster as my RB2? Miller’s my lead, I don’t trust Ware’s role with Charles back and Martin’s on a bye. As always, thanks and good luck today!

  12. dodge10 says:

    jonathan stewart or terrell pryor for standard flex.

  13. Ray says:

    FLEX…. RB. Henry or WR. Woods from Buffalo?

  14. Gern – I like Foster’s upside over Bernard, though it’s a risky play

    dodge10 – I’d go Stewart

    Ray – Woods I guess, not sure Henry gets enough touches to warrant using him

  15. dodge10 says:

    standard flex-jonathan stewart, sammie coates or terrell pryor

  16. Sahel kazemi says:

    Hey yo professor
    Zach Miller over Vernon David right?
    Parker over Hogan at flex?
    Thank you sir

  17. K says:

    Afternoon game, standard: C Mike or Charles?

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